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Attack the Block (2011)

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1:01 | Trailer
A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.

Director:

Joe Cornish

Writer:

Joe Cornish
Reviews
Popularity
4,072 ( 801)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 19 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jodie Whittaker ... Sam
John Boyega ... Moses
Alex Esmail ... Pest
Leeon Jones ... Jerome
Franz Drameh ... Dennis
Simon Howard Simon Howard ... Biggz
Maggie McCarthy Maggie McCarthy ... Margaret
Danielle Vitalis ... Tia
Paige Meade Paige Meade ... Dimples
Gina Antwi Gina Antwi ... Dionne
Natasha Jonas Natasha Jonas ... Gloria
Sammy Williams Sammy Williams ... Probs
Michael Ajao ... Mayhem
Luke Treadaway ... Brewis
Flaminia Cinque ... Italian Woman
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Storyline

Attack the Block follows an unlucky young woman and a gang of tough inner city kids who make an unlikely alliance to try to defend their turf against an invasion of savage alien creatures, turning a South London apartment complex into an intergalactic war-zone. Written by GK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inner City vs. Outer Space


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for creature violence, drug content and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 May 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Attack the Block See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,506, 31 July 2011

Gross USA:

$1,024,175

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,206,022
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS Digital Surround)| SDDS (uncredited)| Dolby Surround 7.1

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where the meteorite breaks open, a female alien cocoon is revealed. Director, Joe Cornish has expressed his wishes of keeping this prop as a back garden decoration. See more »

Goofs

Pest appears to have a magical backpack. As the gang pulls out and uses all of his fireworks, more magically appear a minute afterwards. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sam: [on phone] Hi mum!
See more »

Connections

References Pokémon (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Be Your Own Man
Lyrics by Natalie Williams
Music by Mikis Michaelides
Performed by Natalie Williams and Mikis Michaelides
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Refreshingly small-scale alien invasion horror film
24 May 2012 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

Alien invasions are a dime a dozen these days. Studios feel self-assured that the public takes note on the calendar every time a movie promises to lay waste to a major metropolis at the hands of angered or ruthless extraterrestrials.

So with studios trying to one-up each other by expanding the scope of skyscraper carnage, what a peculiar choice for Joe Cornish to go microcosm and set "Attack the Block" in a small sector of South London.

Budget limitations might have capped Cornish's threshold for mayhem, but based on the tone of his film, he wouldn't have used bigger funds to up the scale of destruction. He offers us "Attack the Block" as character and horror-driven counter-programming to today's invasion blockbusters.

The alien menace in this film is markedly different, as are its protagonists, an inherently unlikable gang of South London teens. While they're mugging a woman (Jodie Whittaker), a strange creature crashes on the street right next to them. When it lashes out, the boys promptly kill it and then drag it to the drug dealer (Nick Frost) living in their block in hopes of finding out what it is and upping their street cred, but soon after, several shadowy beasts with glowing blue teeth fall from the sky and bound after them.

Most of the action takes place in or around the block, and few people other than the central characters get roped into the invasion. In that sense the film plays out more as a horror film in which the gang (and coincidentally the woman they mugged) must fend off and outsmart the creatures, who are trying to pick them off. Cornish balances suspense, action and gore to keep the genre a bit more ambiguous.

What's most impressive about the story is that the characters grow on us over time. Normally it's hard to care about the characters in a horror or alien invasion film unless they are well developed, but here's a case in which the characters truly develop as the film wears on and by the end we're quite fond of them.

John Boyega as the gang leader, Moses, steals the show. He has the look and temperament of a young Denzel Washington. Although we never truly understand who he is—at least not until near the end—we sense the pain behind his eyes and his life's frustrations as he stands up to the aliens. Other characters, notably Pest (Alex Esmail) serve to add comedy and diversify the personalities to make the film more interesting.

Parts of the film drag and much of what happens could be deemed predictable, but Cornish puts a certain spirit into the film, not to mention a greater social message about how to treat other people that most big-budget films tend to graze over. Combined with some fun stylization to the action and events, this is the kind of film that's easy to root for, even if its far from mind-blowing.

~Steven C

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